Sunday, May 18, 2008

Highs and Wows

Tuesday 13th

The team splits again, as Michael continues on towards San Martin De Los Andes and I stay another day to do 2 local rides.

There´s a ripio road which climbs up from Lago Nahuel Huapi (1200m) to Cerro Bayo, a 1778m peak which will hopefully give great panoramic views. Well the ripio road got me to 1450m and a nice little waterfall, then there´s a ski lift from a tiny resort complex to the summit.

I think I mentioned earlier, ski lifts are for wimps, so drinking my own medicine - I have to climb unaided up a maintenance track zig-zagging below the lift. it´s a grueller. But the views of the lake and Penisular Arrayanes are worth it. The descent is a riot... eyes blur as we hit warp speed...

The Peninsula above contains National Park Arrayanes and there´s a 24km round trip hike track along the length. I´ve heard it can be done by bike and 24km on foot would take too long. No one mentioned carrying the bike up the 100 or so steps and the steep log strewn tracks.

After that the track is an off roader´s delight of twists, turns, steeps, and tree roots to dodge. It´s a blast... I hit a log on a descent and am pitched over the handlebars to land on my back, knees and elbows leaking the red stuff.

At the track´s end there´s a stunning Laguna (Laguna Patagua) to be enjoyed in total isolation.

The picture is completed by fantastical looking cedar trees dressed bizarrely in orange

To cap a great day´s ride, I find the world´s dumbest dog and chase in gales of laughter for 10km reminded of horseshoes and the world´s dumbest horse.

And then back to my camp, a fire and BBQ steak bought to replace lost blood cells.

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